Official: ECHR decision on Safarov’s case puts no int'l legal obligations on Azerbaijan

Official: ECHR decision on Safarov’s case puts no int'l legal obligations on Azerbaijan

BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 27

By Huseyn Safarov – Trend:

The decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding Ramil Safarov's case does not impose any international legal obligations on Azerbaijan, the country’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the ECHR Chingiz Asgarov told Trend.

He made the remark commenting on the ECHR’s decision on the "Makuchyan and Minasyan v. Azerbaijan and Hungary" case.

Asgarov said that relatives of officers who participated in those events in Budapest filed a complaint in ECHR against Azerbaijan and Hungary.

"Azerbaijani and Hungarian governments participated in this process as defendants. This process has been going on for quite some time, and this decision was expected, because earlier the ECHR adopted key decisions on Articles 2 and 14 of the European Convention, which provide for the right to life and the prohibition of discrimination. In essence, the ECHR made a ruling based on its case law," Asgarov said.

"However, I fundamentally disagree with the interpretation of the decision by Armenia. This has to do with violation of the material aspect of the right to life,” he said.

“In order to assess the ECHR’s decision, the attention should be paid to the particular opinion of Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque, the judge representing Portugal in the ECHR. If to consider his particular opinion, it can be seen what Armenia wanted from the ECHR’s decision -- they desired to achieve recognition of the international legal responsibility of Azerbaijan on the issue of the material aspect of the right to life,” Asgarov added.

“The second defendant in the case was Hungary, whose authorities extradited Ramil Safarov to Baku, but the ECHR found no violations in actions of Budapest. In other words, Ramil Safarov was legally extradited by the Hungarian government to Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan actually accepted him in accordance with the provisions of the European Convention. This is the main thing to consider in the ECHR’s decision," he said.

Asgarov went on to say that the most interesting are the closing comments of the Portuguese judge.

"He believes that justice for the victims will be restored and that this case will be referred to the ECHR’s Grand Chamber and the court will find all the "desired" violations of the European Convention. This particular opinion of the judge cannot be called impartial,” he said.

Asgarov believes it is yet early to talk about the steps to be further taken by Azerbaijan's government.

"The decision was only published on May 26 and Azerbaijan has three months to consider transferring the case to the Grand Chamber, and this decision, from the point of view of general measures, does not impose any obligations on Azerbaijan. There are only individual measures, which mean that Azerbaijan's government will pay the legal fees to the applicants, meaning, the work of their lawyers. No compensation, including for pecuniary nor non-pecuniary damage, is noted in the decision. So for now, it is hard to say if there are any further actions on appealing the decision of the ECHR," he said.

As for any possible involvement of Armenian lobbyists in the case, the ECHR is not as politicized as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), where Armenians can easily lobby their interests, and where the Armenian lobby is very active.

“On the other hand, I have no idea whether it is the work of the Armenian lobby or the Armenian government, but the applicant is defended by the very people who usually stand on the side of Armenia in complaints against Azerbaijan - the British lawyers. In the future, of course, Armenia will lobby for this decision in order to somehow use it against Azerbaijan in different European political structures. But in any case, this decision does not impose any international legal obligations on Azerbaijan,” he added.

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